Learning from the past to identify and respond to the new challenges facing architectural science

  • YEAR
    Willey, Hayden
    2006 Conference Papers
    Human Issues


ABSTRACT: The strengths and weaknesses of architectural science research from the 1960s to the
present are evaluated to identify necessary changes in goals and techniques as a response to new
challenges and design directions. The traditional approach of simple, carefully-controlled studies with a
concentration on physical and physiological issues treated different sensory modalities as being
independent and largely ignored people’s psychological interaction with their environment. Resultant
problems, such as the sick building syndrome, are discussed and on this basis it is argued that
architectural science is ill-prepared to adequately research people’s interaction with the more natural
environments that are an inevitable outcome of design philosophies embracing sustainability and
minimal impact on the external environment. Architectural science needs to recognise and research
the complexity of people’s interaction with the sensory world and this should be tackled as an essential
element of research relating to the adoption of low-impact strategies. Very recent neurophysiological
research findings concerning interaction between sensory modalities are dis


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